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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Roman Coins| ▸ |The Secessionist Empires| ▸ |Postumus||View Options:  |  |  |   

Gallic Empire, Postumus, Summer 260 - Spring 269 A.D.

Postumus was an incredibly skilled general and administrator. Rebelling against Gallienus, Postumus succeeded in uniting Gaul, Spain, and Britain into what was essentially an empire within an empire. Enjoying tremendous military success against the Germans, he kept his Gallic Empire secure and prosperous. In 268 A.D., he quickly destroyed the forces of the usurper Laelianus, but his refusal to allow his forces to sack Moguntiacum (Mainz, Germany) led to his assassination by disgruntled troops.


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The Rhine and the Danube formed most of the northern inland frontier of the Roman Empire.
RA72656. Billon antoninianus, Cunetio 2371, RSC IV 355b, Schulzki AGK 88c, RIC V-2 87, SRCV III 10991, Elmer 123, Hunter IV - (p. lxxxviii), gVF, reverse scratches, weight 3.812 g, maximum diameter 24.5 mm, die axis 180o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, 1st emission, 2nd phase, 260 - 261 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse SALVS PROVINCIARVM (health of the provinces), river-god Rhenus (Rhine) reclining left, horned, nude to the waist, himation around hips and legs, resting right forearm on prow of a boat, reed cradled in left hand and arm, left elbow resting on urn behind; $105.00 (€92.40)
 


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In 267 A.D., the Goths, originally from Scandinavia, along with the Sarmatians, originally from the area of modern Iran, first invaded the Empire. They ravaged Moesia, Thrace, the Balkans and Greece. In southern Greece, the cities they sacked included Athens, Corinth, Argos and Sparta. An Athenian militia force of 2,000 men, under the historian Dexippus, pushed the invaders north where they were intercepted by the Roman army under Gallienus. Gallienus defeated them near the Nestos River, on the boundary between Macedonia and Thrace.
RS91609. Billon antoninianus, RSC IV 331a, RIC V-2 325, Hunter IV 79, Elmer 593, Mairat 143, Schulzki AGK 77, Cunetio 2444, SRCV III 10983, VF, nice white metal, excellent portrait, toned, flow lines, a few tiny encrustations, edges a little ragged, weight 3.175 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, c. 266 - 267 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right from the front; reverse SAECVLI FELICITAS (era of good fortune), Postumus standing right, bare-headed, wearing military attire, transverse spear in right hand, globe in extended left hand; from the Maxwell Hunt Collection; $90.00 (€79.20)
 


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Deusoniensis probably refers to modern Deutz, on the Rhine across from Cologne. Apparently, Hercules was worshiped there and it has been suggested that Postumus was born in the town. From these relatively obscure provincial origins, Postumus would have risen through the ranks of the army until he held command of the Roman forces "among the Celts." What his precise title was is not definitely known, though he may have been promoted by Valerian to imperial legate of Lower Germany. Postumus was evidently in favor at Valerian's court, and may even have been granted an honorary consulship.
RS64647. Silver antoninianus, RSC IV 91a, RIC V-2 64, Mairat 13, Schulzki AGK 25, Elmer 124, Hunter IV 14, SRCV III 10944, aVF, toned, edge cracks, weight 3.271 g, maximum diameter 22.9 mm, die axis 180o, Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne, Germany) mint, c. 260 - 261 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse HERC DEVSONIENSI (to Hercules of Deuson), Hercules standing slightly right, head right, nude, resting right hand on grounded club behind, bow in left hand, Nemean lion skin draped over his left arm; $70.00 (€61.60)
 


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Victory or Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, with one of the most famous being the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Most other winged deities in the Greek pantheon had shed their wings by Classical times. Nike is the goddess of strength, speed, and victory. Nike was a very close acquaintance of Athena and is thought to have stood in Athena's outstretched hand in the statue of Athena located in the Parthenon. Victory or Nike is also one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek and Roman coins.
RS89653. Billon antoninianus, Schulzki AGK 9, Elmer 586, RIC V-2 287, RSC IV 31a, Mairat 168 - 171, Hunter IV 42, SRCV III 10932, Cunetio -, VF, well centered, traces of silvering, edge a little ragged with small splits and crack, reverse struck with a very worn die, weight 3.184 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Agrippina (Cologne) mint, 267 - 268 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse COS IIII (consul for the 4th time), Victory standing right, raising wreath in right hand, long grounded palm frond in right hand before her; ex Beast Coins; $70.00 (€61.60)
 


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Victory or Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, with one of the most famous being the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Most other winged deities in the Greek pantheon had shed their wings by Classical times. Nike is the goddess of strength, speed, and victory. Nike was a very close acquaintance of Athena and is thought to have stood in Athena's outstretched hand in the statue of Athena located in the Parthenon. Victory or Nike is also one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek and Roman coins.
RS89654. Billon antoninianus, Schulzki AGK 9, Elmer 586, RIC V-2 287, RSC IV 31a, Mairat 168 - 171, Hunter IV 42, SRCV III 10932, Cunetio -, VF, well centered, some silvering, edge splits, die wear, weight 2.914 g, maximum diameter 20.8 mm, die axis 180o, Colonia Agrippina (Cologne) mint, 267 - 268 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse COS IIII (consul for the 4th time), Victory standing right, raising wreath in right hand, long grounded palm frond in right hand before her; ex Beast Coins; $70.00 (€61.60)
 


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In 268, Gallienus was killed by his own senior officers at Mediolanum (Milan) while besieging his rival Aureolus, one of the Thirty Tyrants. Aureolus was murdered in turn by the Praetorian guard.
RA89652. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 97, Cunetio 2453 (511 spec.), Schulzki AGK 53, RSC IV 215c, Elmer 566 (267), RIC V-2 318, SRCV III 10967, VF, excellent centering, nice portrait, much silvering, ragged edge with splits and flan cracks, weight 2.326 g, maximum diameter 21.6 mm, die axis 0o, Cologne (Germany) mint, 6th series, c. mid - late 268 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PAX AVG (the peace of the Emperor), Pax standing left, raising olive branch in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, P in left field; ex Beast Coins; $65.00 (€57.20)
 


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In 268, Gallienus was killed by his own senior officers at Mediolanum (Milan) while besieging his rival Aureolus, one of the Thirty Tyrants. Aureolus was murdered in turn by the Praetorian guard. Postumus assumed his fifth consulship on 1 January 269, but the army in Germania Superior raised a usurper in early 269. Laelianus, one of Postumus’ top military leaders and the governor of Germania Superior, was declared emperor in Mogontiacum (Mainz) by the local garrison and surrounding troops. Although Postumus was able to capture Mogontiacum and kill Laelianus within a few months, he was unable to control his own troops, who wished to put Mogontiacum to the sack. When Postumus tried to restrain them, his men turned on him and killed him.
RA89656. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 97, Cunetio 2453 (511 spec.), Schulzki AGK 53, RSC IV 215c, Elmer 566 (267), RIC V-2 318, SRCV III 10967, Choice VF, well centered, nice portrait, traces of silvering, flow lines, some porosity, edge cracks and small splits, weight 2.908 g, maximum diameter 21.5 mm, die axis 180o, Colonia Agrippina (Cologne) mint, 267 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PAX AVG (the peace of the Emperor), Pax standing left, raising olive branch in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, P in left field; ex Beast Coins; $65.00 (€57.20)
 


Click for a larger photo
In 268, Gallienus was killed by his own senior officers at Mediolanum (Milan) while besieging his rival Aureolus, one of the Thirty Tyrants. Aureolus was murdered in turn by the Praetorian guard.
RA89651. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 97, Cunetio 2453 (511 spec.), Schulzki AGK 53, RSC IV 215c, Elmer 566 (267), RIC V-2 318, SRCV III 10967, Choice VF, excellent portrait, well centered, flow lines, small edge cracks, reverse struck with a worn die, weight 3.290 g, maximum diameter 20.4 mm, die axis 180o, Cologne (Germany) mint, 267 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PAX AVG (the peace of the Emperor), Pax standing left, olive branch in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, P in left field; ex Beast Coins; $60.00 (€52.80)
 


Click for a larger photo
In 268, Gallienus was killed by his own senior officers at Mediolanum (Milan) while besieging his rival Aureolus, one of the Thirty Tyrants. Aureolus was murdered in turn by the Praetorian guard. Postumus assumed his fifth consulship on 1 January 269, but the army in Germania Superior raised a usurper in early 269. Laelianus, one of Postumus’ top military leaders and the governor of Germania Superior, was declared emperor in Mogontiacum (Mainz) by the local garrison and surrounding troops. Although Postumus was able to capture Mogontiacum and kill Laelianus within a few months, he was unable to control his own troops, who wished to put Mogontiacum to the sack. When Postumus tried to restrain them, his men turned on him and killed him.
RA89655. Billon antoninianus, Hunter IV 97, Cunetio 2453 (511 spec.), Schulzki AGK 53, RSC IV 215c, Elmer 566 (267), RIC V-2 318, SRCV III 10967, VF, nice portrait, some silvering, flow lines, tight flan, ragged edge, weight 3.517 g, maximum diameter 19.5 mm, die axis 0o, Colonia Agrippina (Cologne) mint, 268 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right; reverse PAX AVG (the peace of the Emperor), Pax standing left, raising olive branch in right hand, transverse scepter in left hand, P in left field; ex Beast Coins; $60.00 (€52.80)
 


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In 265, Gallienus launched a campaign to defeat Postumus. Postumus escaped the first assault due to the carelessness of Aureolus, Gallienus' cavalry commander. Gallienus led the second campaign himself but was wounded and forced to withdraw. By the end of 265, Postumus' coins proudly announced his victory.
RA89975. Billon antoninianus, RIC V-2 311, RSC IV 161a, Schulzki AGK 39, Elmer 571, Cunetio 2468, Mairat 205 - 207, SRCV III 10955, Hunter IV - (p. xci), VF, excellent portrait, choice obverse, light marks, reverse die wear, edge split, tiny encrustations, weight 3.247 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 180o, Lugdunum (Lyon, France) mint, c. 268 A.D.; obverse IMP C POSTVMVS P F AVG, radiate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, from the front; reverse IOVI VICTORI (Jove the victorious), Jupiter in fighting attitude, nude but for chlamys over shoulders and flying behind on left, head right, hurling thunderbolt with right hand, long scepter transverse in left; $50.00 (€44.00)
 




  



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OBVERSE| LEGENDS|

IMPCLATPOSTVMVSPFAVG
IMPCMCASLATPOSTVMVSAV
IMPCMCASLATPOSTVMVSAVG
IMPCMCASLATPOTVMVS
IMPCMCASSLATPOSTVMVSAV
IMPCMCASSLATPOSTVMVSAVG
IMPCMCASSLATPOSTVMVSPAVG
IMPCMCASSLATPOSTVMVSPIAVG
IMPCMCASSLATPOSTVMVSPFAVG
IMPCMCASSLATPOSTVMVSPIVSFAVG
IMPCPOSTVMVS
IMPCPOSTVMVSAVG
IMPCPOSTVMVSPAV
IMPCPOSTVMVSPIAVG
IMPCPOSTVMVSPFAVG
IMPCPOSTVMVSPFAVGCOSIII
IMPCPOSTVMVSPIVSFAVG
IMPCPOSTVMVSPIVSFELAVG
IMPPOSTVMVSAVG
IMPPOSTVMVSPFAVG
IMPPOSTVMVSPIVSAVG
IMPPOSTVMVSPIVSFAVG
MCASLATPOSTVMVSPFAVG
POSTVMVSAVG
POSTVMVSPFAVG
POSTVMVSPFAVGCOS
POSTVMVSPFAVGVSTVSTP
POSTVMVSPIVSAVG
POSTVMVSPIVSFELAVG
POSTVMVSPIVSFELIXAVG
VIRTVSPOSTVMIAVG


REFERENCES|

Amandry, M. Trésors Monétaires, Vol. XIII: Recherches sur les monnayages d'imitation tardifs de Postume. (Paris, 1992).
Bastien, P. Le Monnayage de Bronze de Postume. (Wetteren, 1967).
Besly, E. & R. Bland. The Cunetio Treasure: Roman Coinage of the Third Century AD. (London, 1983).
Burnett, A. & R. Bland, eds. Coin Hoards from Roman Britain: The Normanby Hoard and Other Roman Coin Hoards. CHRB VIII. (London, 1988).
Calicó, X. The Roman Avrei, Vol. Two: From Didius Julianus to Constantius I, 193 AD - 335 AD. (Barcelona, 2003).
Cohen, H. Description historique des monnaies frappées sous l'Empire Romain, Vol. 6: Macrianus to Diocletian & Maximianus. (Paris, 1886).
De Witte, J. Recherches sur les empereurs qui ont régné dans les Gaules au IIIe siècle de l'ère chrétienne. (Lyon, 1868).
Elmer, G. "Die Münzprägung der gallischen Kaiser von Postumus bis Tetricus in Köln, Trier und Mailand." in Bonner Jahrbücher 146 (1941). pp. 1 - 106.
Gricourt, D. & D. Hollard, "Le Trésor de bronzes romains de Méricourt-l'Abbé: recherches sur les monnayages d'imitation tardifs de Postume" in TM XIII.
Mairat, J. Le monnayage de l'Empire Gaulois. CGB Rome XV. (Fixed Price List, 2004).
Mairat, J. The Coinage of the Gallic Empire. PhD thesis. (Oxford, 2014).
Mattingly, H., E. Sydenham & P. Webb. The Roman Imperial Coinage, Vol V, Part II, Probus to Amandus. (London, 1933).
Robinson, A. Roman Imperial Coins in the Hunter Coin Cabinet, University of Glasgow, Vol. IV. Valerian I to Allectus. (Oxford, 1978).
Schulte, B. Die Goldprägung der gallischen Kaiser von Postumus bis Tetricus. Typos IV. (Aarau, 1983).
Schulzki, H. Die Antoninianprägung der Gallischen Kaiser von Postumus bis Tetricus. (Bonn, 1996).
Seaby, H. & D. Sear. Roman Silver Coins, Vol. IV, Gordian III to Postumus. (London, 1982).
Sear, D. Roman Coins and Their Values III, The Accession of Maximinus I to the Death of Carinus AD 235 - AD 285. (London, 2005).
Vagi, D. Coinage and History of the Roman Empire. (Sidney, 1999).
Weder, M. "Münzen und Münzstätten der Gallisch-Römischen Kaiser, Teil I" in SNR 76 (1997).
Weder, M. "Münzen und Münzstätten der Gallisch-Römischen Kaiser, Teil II" in SNR 77 (1998).
http://www.Gallic-Empire.com - http://www.gallic-empire.com/postumus.htm
Zschucke, C. Die Bronze-Teilstück-Prägungen der römischen Münzstätte Trier. (Trier, 2002).
Zschucke, C. Die römische Münzstätte Köln. (Trier, 1993).

Catalog current as of Monday, September 16, 2019.
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Roman Coins of Postumus